The Small Business Resilience Program (SBRP) is a demonstration project to evaluate the impact of proactive assistance to small businesses on their ability to thrive in changing neighborhoods. The i-team led the project in partnership with the City’s Economic and Workforce Development Department. In 12 weeks, the program connected with more than 100 businesses and selected ten small businesses to participate in a mini-grant and training program.
WHAT IS THE PROBLEM WE’RE TRYING TO SOLVE?
The i-team used the LA Index for Neighborhood Change tool to identify a neighborhoods where business owners were most likely threatened with displacement due to neighborhood change. After narrowing down to one neighborhood in South Central LA, the i-team selected 10 existing small businesses for the demonstration project. Partnering with Business Source Centers near the Central Avenue corridor, the team then worked to help these small businessed avoid the threat of displacement by offering small-scale technical support to increase their revenue and opportunity for future growth.
WHAT IS THE INITIATIVE?
The SBRP helped the i-team identify best practices that can be scaled citywide to offer businesses customized support ‘where they are at’ rather than a more generic approach. Each business received a $1,000 mini-grant to implement small-scale improvements, including updating the facade of the business or updating their ‘look’ or brand identity and messaging, all with a focus on helping businesses adapt to changing neighborhoods. The program impacted businesses quickly and efficiently and offered access to to important tools such as marketing assistance, legal support, and business training resources to drive stronger operations and support businesses in adapting to their changing customer base.
Economic and Workforce Development Department Council District 9 Central Avenue Historic Business Improvement District Local businesses in Council District 9